Hedgehog's very own Jon Hope presents a Q&A with the co-creator of Pen Frens.
Say hello to Pen Frens, an animated series and NFT collection. Described as a "web3 Animation Services company" on Magic Eden, this project has one of the most fascinating roadmaps I have seen. NFT holders participate in the creation of an animated series using the characters from the NFT collection. Also, users provide Confessions that correlate with their NFT's character to give them a backstory. Holders who want to be voice actors can collaborate with animators to bring their character to life. You can see these short animations on the project's YouTube Channel.
Pen Frens is available on the Solana Network, which has become very popular with NFT projects due to the easy entry for new users, and lower Gas Fees. A recent report from Nansen, showed over 53,000 NFT collections on Solana as of June, 2022. Hyperspace Marketplace currently shows Pen Frens at the time of this writing at a floor price of 6 SOL and 577 unique owners. The collection had an initial mint of 2,222 NFTs.
The Pen Frens franchise is more than just the NFT collection and an animated series. There is a service that includes 1/1 Picture for Proof (PFP) animations and additional NFT collections. My favorite of these collections is Camp Solana, which is a fun horror-themed survival game using NFTs. The basic idea is every NFT holder has a chance to win 700 SOL by being the last camper to survive a story these NFT characters are in.
When it comes to the Pen Frens, all of the immediate plans are laid out in the project's Whitepaper. The community receives a 25% Animation Service and 70% Secondary Sales revenue distribution. Next, is a release of community tokens. Following the theme, the tokens are $CRED and $SMOKES. These are awarded to members for completing missions with their NFT characters.
I asked the co-creator Max a little about his story and the Pen Frens community.
Who introduced you to NFTs?
I was introduced to NFTs through a record label I was shooting music videos for. What started as a music video for an AI-generated music NFT project became a full time move into web3 animation.
How would you describe your art and your community?
Our art is classic 2D cartoon art, in the unique style that team member and artist Jay Ziebarth is known for. Our community is probably older than your typical NFT community, is loaded with diamond hands, and virtually bereft of bozos.
How did you build your own community?
We were very clear about who we are and what we are doing (or trying to do) and then we let the community sort of find itself from there. We were honest and told people that if you're looking to flip for a quick buck then Pen Frens ain't it. We've never driven hype for pumps and I think the community respects us for it.
Recently our special event collection Camp Solana has brought more eyes onto the project, and more users into Discord. We do not do paid shills and we don't buy followers or any other numbers, and while this puts us at a disadvantage in terms of hype, it helps to create a more organic community that is full of the types of holders best suited for a long term revenue share model such as Pen Frens.
What is your overall goal and what does success look like for you?
Overall our goal is to bring innovation, immersion, and entertainment to Solana and eventually other blockchains. Thriving as a business and sharing healthy revenue with our holders is success for us.
Are there any other artists or projects that you would like to work with in the future?
Yes! We get to animate for many artists and projects but there are always more. y00ts and DeGods would be high on the list. Artist iamlaurel would be another.
How did you decide which blockchain to release your NFTs on?
Solana was an easy choice because we wanted to make customizable, animated PFPs that change over time (the way we've done with Camp Solana). PFPs that can be updated/altered/even programmed. Gas fees on ETH made these types of changes prohibitive.
Do you have any advice for the next artist getting into NFTs?
Yes! Consider your animated future! One day your art may be brought to life, and if the original art is created in layers and with later animation in mind, you will get a better result. Also — look to be part of a team not just a mercenary hired to do pieces here and there. Have your style be everywhere within a project and make yourself irreplaceable.
If you would like to catch up with the Pen Frens and team you can find all of their links here.